Innovation That Matters

Smartphone attachment for STD testing

Sport & Fitness

Boston-based, Luminostics, develop a smartphone device which tests for Chlamydia in the privacy of a user's home.

Chlamydia currently affects roughly 35 million individuals each year in the US alone, putting them at risk of ectopic pregnancy and even infertility. The sexually transmitted disease is most prominent amongst sexually active teenagers. Whilst keeping the infection at bay requires regular testing, Chlamydia often has no symptoms, problematic for a generation who may find visiting the sexual health clinic embarrassing, making an appointment with the doctor time-consuming, and waiting days to receive test result nerve-wracking. Springwise covered Hoope, last year, a device that connects to a smartphone, allowing users to test themselves.

Now, from Luminostics, come a new smartphone-device for STD testing. Unlike Hoope, however, which uses a ring to take blood samples and connects to a smartphone using bio responses that are converted into electronic signals, Luminostics can test saliva, blood or urine samples and uses the smartphone’s flash camera to measure the light emitted by the particles on the samples.

The product consists of three parts: a reusable attachment for a smartphone, a disposable cartridge and an app to measure the diagnosis. Those testing for the disease add the sample to the test cartridge, wait for 15 minutes, slide the cartridge into position and press a button on the app to make it immediately analyze and show the test results.

The product is planning to launch in the US and Europe in 2018. Like home pregnancy tests, Luminostics plans to democratize testing for STDs. Although the founders have chosen to screen for Chlamydia as their first target, they plan to expand the idea to veterinary and food-safety testing in the near-future. How else can the smartphone be used to make home testing easier?



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